British Balloon and Airship Club

British Balloon and Airship Club

The BBAC is the Royal Aero Club member association for Balloons and Airships. It is a volunteer-based organisation, founded in 1965 to promote all aspects of lighter-than-air flight, serving sporting and commercial interests equally.

Membership is open to everyone interested in lighter-than-air flight and all members receive the bimonthly Club magazine Aerostat and have members' access to the website.

Membership of the BBAC has remained steady at about 2,000 in recent years. There are a number of affiliated Regional Clubs, which organise local balloon meets, social evenings, training, lectures, etc. The British Association of Balloon Operators is an affiliated group which represents commercial passenger-carrying balloon operators, while the BBAC Competitions Club serves the interests of competitors, organising National Championships, the Grand Prix series and participation in international championships.

BBAC members have been at the forefront of organising, directing and observing as well as competing at major international championships and are prominent in the FAI Commission Internationale D'Aerostation (Ballooning Commission).

An important part of the work of the BBAC is liaison with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and other regulatory bodies in the UK and around the world. The BBAC carries delegated authority from the CAA for airworthiness certification, pilot training and examining. Great Britain leads the way in the development of hot air balloons and balloon manufacture. Most of the special shape
balloons and both successful round-the-world balloons were designed and built in the UK, which has one of the most successful balloon ride industries in the world.  

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